Speaker:in

Dr. Franca Parianen

Neuroscientist, Author, Speaker: Science Communicator

Dr. Franca Parianen, born in 1989, is a neuroscientist and science communicator. She explores the intersection between science and humanities, people and society, or as she says: the ideal field for people with decision-making difficulties. With wit, humor, and sources, she explores the difficulties that arise when two brains collide. As well as the question of what that means for 8 billion people. In doing so, she dives deep into the world of messengers and neurons, while at the same time transferring the findings to the problems of our modern world.

She is well equipped for this interdisciplinary approach, with a bachelor’s degree in public administration (politics, economics, sociology and law), a research master’s degree in cognitive and neuroscience, and a doctorate to match. She visits fair trade companies in Mauritius, worked as a coordinator at the Eine Welt Netz (“One World Network”) in North Rhine-Westphalia, and studied social cognition at the Max Planck Institute. Conclusion: Pure reason is also overestimated. The second half of her doctoral thesis took Parianen to the Helmholtz Institute in Utrecht, where everything revolved around social life at the level of the brain and hormones. What role do attachment, stress, and early childhood experience play? What myths stand in the way of women? And what else are hormones supposed to be an excuse for? “Hormones are political, too,” Parianen says, “Because they can not only confirm prejudices, but do an excellent job of dispelling them.” She communicates her research findings not only in specialist publications, but also on stage. In the science slam format, she brings science to theaters, clubs or pubs, winning numerous national championships. As a speaker, she gives talks at international congresses.

Research and narrative style together flow into Parianen’s books. Starting with „Woher soll ich wissen, was ich denke, bevor ich höre, was ich sage“ (2017) (“How should I know what I think before I hear what I say”), which is partly created in Southeast Asia and Cuba, published by Rowohlt and on the bestseller list for weeks. Since then, Franca Parianen can also be found more frequently as a contributor in print, radio and television. In her current book, “Teilen und Haben”(“Sharing and Having”) (2021), she spans an arc from the origins of humanity, through childlike social behavior, to the global distribution of resources. In the wording of the Neue Westphälische: “Franca Parianen hits the nerve of the time with her book”.